Master of Nursing

The Master of Nursing, studied alone or as a combined degree, is accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and addresses all of the essential criteria for registration as a beginning practitioner, in most areas in which graduates may wish to practise.

Course overview

The Master of Nursing is a two-year graduate entry, pre-registration program for students with previous tertiary qualifications. It is designed to introduce students to the profession of nursing through clinical and theoretical components.

The units of study and the order in which you will take them is predetermined and is described in detail in the unit of study table.

This course is also available to Aboriginal health workers with a Diploma or Advanced Diploma in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.

Students who have previously studied units at postgraduate level that are similar to those offered in the Master of Nursing are welcome to apply for credit. You can apply for credit through Sydney Student where your request will be evaluated and the outcome recorded.

The pre-registration courses at Sydney Nursing School involve significant participation in off-campus clinical placements. You will complete more than 800 clinical hours during your degree. Before each clinical placement you will practise your skills in our clinical labs and high fidelity simulation wards.

Clinical placement sites include private and public hospitals, mental health services and community health settings. The majority of clinical placements occur within the Sydney metropolitan area, although you will also be expected to undertake some clinical placements in rural locations.

You will need to be available to complete full-time weeks of shiftwork throughout University holiday periods in order to complete your clinical placements.

Important information to prepare you for clinical placements:


The Master of Nursing consists of 96 credit points and 16 units of study (each worth six credit points), with eight units of study offered in each academic year. In terms of workload, most six credit point units of study consist of attendance and lectures, tutorials and/or lab sessions on a regular basis.

There are also pre-reading and assessment items equating to approximately 10 hours per week. The course is offered only in on-campus mode.

In Semester One of the first year, students undertake study in clinical nursing subjects together with subjects that explore the social context of nursing in particular, and the global and Australian health system more generally. During Semester Two the focus is on more specific clinical areas such as mental health and acute care nursing as well as illness experiences and drug therapies.

The second year of the course further considers the political aspects of the health care system and more detailed nursing practice in the areas of research in nursing practice, professional practice and the emerging role of nurses as global citizens, community nursing, mental health and acute/high dependency nursing. During this year, there is also an option to extend knowledge and practice in paediatrics, mental health, high acuity or clinical nursing.

English language requirements

Applicants are strongly advised that all units of study are presented on the assumption that you possess a high level of competency in English. This is particularly the case in respect of clinical education units of study where students require language skills that will not be challenged in a critical situation.

For safe practice, nurses require a high level of verbal and written English language skills particularly technical language. Good English language skills are also necessary to fulfil the University's generic skills and the competency requirements of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

Applicants are strongly advised to make enquiries with the board regarding English language requirements for registration as these may differ from the English language requirements needed for admission into this program.

If you are facing difficulties with English language, either in the classroom or in the clinical environment, academic staff will recommend that you attend University support programs. You will be expected to use this assistance, so that you can perform well and communicate effectively with peers, teachers and patients or clients.